Five Ways to Improve Your Health Today

By Heather Rudalavage, Registered Dietitian

How many times have you said to yourself, “I want to get healthier, I want to have more energy, but I just donʼt know where I would find the time?” Here are 5 things you can start doing today to feel better tomorrow. They donʼt take much time, money or willpower, but will add up to a better feeling YOU.

1. Get more sleep. Okay, so this does require a bit more time on your part. You probably know that less sleep means less energy, but did you know that people who get less sleep are also more prone to obesity? Apparently, our bodies are busy breaking down fats whilst we dream.

2. Put your sneakers on every day. I am not saying you have to take 10,000 steps or jog a 14 minute mile, just put some walking shoes on and go out the front door. The walking is the easy part, for most people putting on their shoes and going out the door is the biggest challenge. Once you are outside with your sneakers on, you will
find it easy to start walking – I promise!

3. Slow down when you eat. You may have heard that there is a twenty minute delay between your stomach being full and your brain sending out a signal to stop eating. This is true! That is just one reason why by slowing down, you will eat less. There are
other benefits to slowing down as well, like allowing you to savor the flavors, aroma and even the presentation of a meal. Eating should be more of an experience, not just a chow fest! There is a reason why the French have less obesity in their country, and itʼs not just the wine.

4. Drink more H2O. Did you know that feeling thirsty means you are already dehydrated? Being in a chronic state of dehydration can make you feel sluggish, headachy, and can cause constipation. It can also make you feel hungry when really you are thirsty. By drinking water all day with a goal of 6-8 glasses you can prevent dehydration. Youʼll be amazed at how much better you feel.

5. Make one small change to your diet and stick to that change until it becomes a habit. Making one small change to your diet, such as, swapping half of your carbs for whole grains, cutting back or eliminating soda, using smaller plates or adding an extra fruit into your daily intake can make a big difference over time. Once your change has
become routine or habit, then add another change. Within 3 months you will have racked up between 3 to 12 small changes that will equal you feeling like a new person!

These are just a few ways to start improving the way you feel. Creating a healthier lifestyle doesnʼt have to mean doing a complete 180 from where you are now. Research shows that by consistently making small changes you will begin to feel better, but more importantly, you are more likely to stick with the changes you have already made. Slow and steady wins the race!

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